Skip to content

Saints outclass Falcons to lock up NFC South

D. Breespump Getty Images

The Falcons and Saints have played the most reliably entertaining games of any NFC rivalry over the last few years. The last four games between the two teams have been decided by exactly three points.

That streak ended dramatically on Monday night for a good reason: The Falcons are no longer in the same class as the Saints.

New Orleans won 45-16 in a game that will be remembered as the night Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s passing yardage record. It should also be remembered for the Saints re-establishing themselves as the dominant team in the NFC South.

It was only a year ago that the Falcons were the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Now Atlanta is a good-not-great unit incapable of beating high quality competition.

They have lost to the Packers, Texans, and now the Saints twice. The Falcons came into this year looking for more playmakers on offense, but the total lack of a running game has negated the boost that Julio Jones gives to the offense.

While Atlanta’s defense has appeared improved this year, they had no answer for Brees. The pass rush was non-existent. New Orleans converted their first nine third downs, four of them on third-and-long. The Saints rushed for 164 yards on only 21 attempts.

Now 12-3, the Saints could tie for the best regular season record ever for any team that doesn’t get a playoff bye. The 49ers just have to beat St. Louis to clinch the No. 2 seed and push the Saints down to the third seed.

The Falcons, meanwhile, will be the No. 5 or No. 6 seed. They don’t look like a team capable of going far in the playoffs or stopping a high powered passing attack.

It is very possible that these two teams will play again in the Superdome only two weeks from now.

That’s a rematch the Saints should welcome.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
41 Responses to “Saints outclass Falcons to lock up NFC South”
  1. polegojim says: Dec 27, 2011 12:23 AM

    Strong and impressive O… but D is their weakness, just like Pats and Pack.

    Falcons O shot themselves in the foot.

    Strongest Defensive Team will prevail in this SuperBowl.

  2. captainwisdom8888 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:24 AM

    Saints vs Packers in NFC championship game. Cant see any other matchup taking place. And quite honestly, I like the Saints in that game with the Packers defense getting gashed up lately

  3. cmdv8 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:25 AM

    as long as the lions dont go there again im good

  4. hauntedspawn says: Dec 27, 2011 12:26 AM

    That game looked like a replay of the GB-ATL playoff game last year. To sum up Atlanta’s offense: some would say consistent, I would say stagnant. Too predictable.

  5. bradeh says: Dec 27, 2011 12:26 AM

    Yes, Saints D is so bad. Turner 39 yards, Chris Johnson 23, Peterson 60 and ATL had 16 points.

  6. cobrala2 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:27 AM

    They WERE?! Sorta diminishes the Saints’ last few seasons to claim they were peers. I’m pretty sure the Falcons have yet to peak past “wannabe” or “poser”.

  7. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Dec 27, 2011 12:28 AM

    Losing Ovie Mughelli early really hurt the things that Michael Turner did in the past.

    That and them trying to force Matt Ryan to be an elite QB with his new toys, when they should have kept him as a game manager which is his ceiling.

  8. hauntedspawn says: Dec 27, 2011 12:29 AM

    If Detroit’s secondary gets healthy, they could make a run in these playoffs. I hope Detroit gets at least 1 win in the wild card and then addresses OL and CB in the draft or FA.

  9. KIR says: Dec 27, 2011 12:37 AM

    Matt Flynn is a good game manager but right now he’s not a franchise QB. Too much dink and dunk. Get a lead and the Falcons are done.

  10. swampymux12 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:49 AM

    I don’t think I go Bush League at the end of the game (throwing up 22 with 4 minutes left, making sure not to accidentally run for a yard so Brees can rack up some garbage yards to break the record… Stay Classy Saints) against a division rival that I may be seeing in a couple weeks. To say that the Falcons aren’t in the Saints class after 4 of the last 5 games have come down to the last drive is stupid! Saints had a nice night, Falcons couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down and they had some bad penalties. Falcons had a chance to cut it to a one score game early in the 4th, but Julio fumbled and it ended the game, they go down and get a td, and you never know…

  11. linkinxr says: Dec 27, 2011 12:56 AM

    Brees against 49ers defense is matchup I want to watch. In the cold air of candlestick where the wind blows and balls don’t fall easy with no dome!

  12. iambadkid says: Dec 27, 2011 1:01 AM

    wow how does drew brees how does he do it? but brees is a true championship caliber quarterback… tom brady, eli manning, aaron rodgers are not that good they just get good blocking and they get lucky all the time

  13. canadianvikingfaniii says: Dec 27, 2011 1:02 AM

    You should see Ray Edwards twitter. Already going after fans saying, “It’s funny how ppl judge you on ur job but who can judge you when you asking someone do u want fries with that or asking paper or plastic” then he adds “Couldn’t cause they un-athletic r just couldn’t handle it #bums”

    Someone can’t take the heat after a loss, over payed and over hyped loser.

  14. kinguga says: Dec 27, 2011 1:24 AM

    Pathetic effort by the Falcons tonight. The offense did what it has done on the road this season: fail to score TDs in the red zone. The defense was unbelievably bad in the first half of that game.

    I find it funny that people act as if the Falcons aren’t anything more than they’ve shown this season: a mediocre club. They’re no better than the Cowboys, Giants, or the other NFC flotsam and jetsam.

  15. jtbaudendistel says: Dec 27, 2011 1:25 AM

    NFC playoffs we’ll get to see Offense V. Defense with Saints V. 49ers. Back in the day, defense won championships, but the game has changed.

  16. Andre's Johnson says: Dec 27, 2011 1:26 AM

    The Saints are better than the Packers. I hate saying that because the mothereffing Saints fans in Houston who realized after being Katrina’d out of their city that Houston is a zillion times more livable than New Orleans are so gd obnoxious.

    You Packers fans are becoming annoying as well. You can take your thumbs down and shove in your cheese hole.

    This English beer is good. I’m on a role.

  17. fittytuckin says: Dec 27, 2011 1:47 AM

    Hey Saints. You still want to play hardball with this guy during negotiations?

  18. Soulman45 says: Dec 27, 2011 1:59 AM

    The difference in the teams to night was at QB the running game goes to NO the return game goes to NO.
    The Falcons just look weak.

  19. jamarcuslives says: Dec 27, 2011 2:09 AM

    That and them trying to force Matt Ryan to be an elite QB with his new toys, when they should have kept him as a game manager which is his ceiling.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Amen! Ryan derserves to be criticized because he is doing less with more. He gets plenty of time to throw the ball and his weapons are the envy of the league. The guy has no athleticism and a noodle for an arm. When you pull the cord out of his back he says all the right things, but the guy sucks in my opinion. There is no dropoff when Redman gets into games.

  20. jeffreydee says: Dec 27, 2011 2:10 AM

    “total lack of a running game”

    Weak, yeah. Total? Come on.

  21. osrude says: Dec 27, 2011 3:40 AM

    Weeks ago I wouldn’t have considered it…
    And I still don’t think it’ll happen…
    But now, it has to be at least in the discussion.

    Rodgers/Brees = Co-MVP?

  22. elwaysbrain says: Dec 27, 2011 6:08 AM

    Dunta Robinson sucks.

  23. jimmysee says: Dec 27, 2011 6:09 AM

    If Detroit goes to N.O., it’ll be the end for the Lions.

  24. steelersownyou says: Dec 27, 2011 6:29 AM

    It amazes me how warren sapp can even have a job. He’s the dumbest wannabe analyst in America. He said Steelers defense is “old, slow and it’s over”….theyre ranked #1 in the NFL!…Then he said…”The super bowl will be the Atlanta Falcins vs the San Diego “super” Chargers…My God how can a guy be wrong all year and keep his job? He should be a weatherman. He’d be perfect for that job but not the NFL!

  25. Gravy says: Dec 27, 2011 6:40 AM

    NFC Champs
    Packers 45
    Saints 35

  26. gregeer says: Dec 27, 2011 6:47 AM

    And that, ladies and gents, is why ATL’s trade for Julio Jones was a horrifically bad decision. They are still the clear second in the NFC South and I can see it staying that way for a long time.

  27. 700levelvet says: Dec 27, 2011 6:53 AM

    The Over/Under bet for the Saints vs. Packers NFC championship game may reach triple digits…

  28. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 27, 2011 8:12 AM

    Saints just better be glad they don’t have to come to East Rutherford.

    The Lions (should we beat Dallas) will soon see why.

    These dome teams are not impressive on the road in the elements in January. The Saints have repeatedly proven that and I do not trust the Lions to be any different.

  29. 122u says: Dec 27, 2011 8:22 AM

    “KIR says:
    Dec 27, 2011 12:37 AM
    Matt Flynn is a good game manager but right now he’s not a franchise QB. Too much dink and dunk. Get a lead and the Falcons are done.”

    KIR,
    I had to look at your posting twice to make sure I read it correctly. By golly, I’m a Packer Fan and I’m guessing you must be as well and have Matt Flynn on your mind :) Last I heard, Matt Flynn was the clipboard/waterboy to Rodgers. That is, unless he decided to sneak into a Falcon outfit, in an attempt to be a starter :)

  30. jpspear says: Dec 27, 2011 8:22 AM

    If Atlanta beats TB, they will play the pathetic Giants or the pathetic Cowboys, not the Saints.

  31. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 27, 2011 8:26 AM

    The Giants are the team no one wants to face, and the Saints better hope they can replicate this effort against the Falcons in a couple of weeks.

  32. dexterismyhero says: Dec 27, 2011 8:36 AM

    @steelersownyou says:Dec 27, 2011 6:29 AM
    It amazes me how warren sapp can even have a job. He’s the dumbest wannabe analyst in America. He said Steelers defense is “old, slow and it’s over”….theyre ranked #1 in the NFL!…Then he said…”The super bowl will be the Atlanta Falcins vs the San Diego “super” Chargers…My God how can a guy be wrong all year and keep his job? He should be a weatherman. He’d be perfect for that job but not the NFL!
    ================================

    go find a Steelers story idiot………..Or maybe Warren can come to Pittsburgh as an analyst for your team………..

  33. kevpft says: Dec 27, 2011 8:43 AM

    Brees would normally be in the running for the MVP. But with Brady ready to also pass Marino’s mark next week, a little luster comes off of Brees (even though he’ll probably keep the record). Add that he’s bringing the team to only the 2nd or 3rd-best record in the conference, and it’s too much of a one-trick pony situation to trump the better-in-more-ways year that Rodgers is having.

  34. kevpft says: Dec 27, 2011 8:45 AM

    Looks like the Falcons are the new Cowboys – look great on paper, add flashy new components, but fail on the big stage. Though I think the Cowboys are actually more dangerous right now than the Falcons. Heck, so are the Seahawks, who’d probably make more waves in the playoffs if they’d have made it in.

  35. wicky888 says: Dec 27, 2011 8:55 AM

    Hey the Saints are nasty, not taking anything away from them as a Falcon fan. Normally I look forward too these games, but Atlanta laid an egg last night. No pass rush which lead to no pass defense. No running game, and they gave up on it too quickly which they always do when they fall behind. They start to think Matt Ryan is Drew Brees and he simply IS NOT. Good win Saints, I really hope we don’t have to come back there in 2 Weeks

  36. rajuncajun28 says: Dec 27, 2011 9:17 AM

    I love the saints and brees haters and all the Katrina comments…i love the bottom feeder teams who say “come play our team outside”….man, you idiots don’t realize but your jealousy is validated every time you write moronic comments…doesn’t Walmart provide you with ojt or continuing education to sharpen that brain? Who dat, we dat….

    @andrejoshnson Texan lover – your team is one and done is the playoffs…what a joke….

  37. cwmorga says: Dec 27, 2011 9:28 AM

    @swampymux12 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:49 AM

    Falcons had a chance to cut it to a one score game early in the 4th, but Julio fumbled and it ended the game, they go down and get a td, and you never know…
    ———————

    And what if the pass to Graham in the endzone didn’t deflect straight into the air and into a Falcon defender’s lap? I believe that would’ve been 28-10 Saints after 4 possessions.

    See, I can play the “what if” game, too.

  38. skippynj says: Dec 27, 2011 11:11 AM

    Apologies to all. I posted that the Saints would win 48-17. I overestimated the falcons. Won’t do that again.

  39. tommytd says: Dec 27, 2011 11:14 AM

    But can they win outside in frozen Lambeau?

  40. raw101 says: Dec 27, 2011 5:22 PM

    Steelersownyou, the niners have the number one defense.

  41. akasaintsbaby says: Dec 27, 2011 9:39 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says:
    Dec 27, 2011 8:12 AM
    Saints just better be glad they don’t have to come to East Rutherford.

    The Lions (should we beat Dallas) will soon see why.

    These dome teams are not impressive on the road in the elements in January. The Saints have repeatedly proven that and I do not trust the Lions to be any different.
    —————————————

    The Giants would have to come to New Orleans. That is if they limp into the playoffs. I think they have visited once before this season. The Saints almost put 50 on them. Nobody is worried about the Giants, especially the Saints.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!